With the exponential growth of social sites and the empowerment of individuals to create their own “15 minutes of fame” in the digital realm it is no wonder that businesses are starting to recognize the potential. Almost a year and a half ago I started writing blogs about this trend and at the time I was continuously puzzled by the lack of enthusiasm by business for this unprecedented opportunity. I thought that this was miraculous. You had your customers in a single place (social site), telling each other what they liked and willing to listen to what others had to say. It seemed like a marketing dream. Well business is finally catching on, if a bit late.
In our office we always knew that when business decided to jump on the band wagon it would be a huge and dramatic shift. Well it is happening and it surpassed even our expectations. Recent industry studies provide some startling, if not exciting, statistics:
This begs the question; why are business owners more likely than marketers to be using social networks and media?
I think the answer to that lies in the nature of social networks and the democratic quality they afford. In social networks the consumer is king and each has a more or less equal voice. Where once tools of marketing were limited to those with skills or money this is no longer true. Anyone can use Facebook (over 200 million members) or YouTube and a camcorder. With these resources available, even small business can create masterful marketing campaigns with modest budgets and ability to reach clients with little concern for normally typical restrictions such as geographic location. Of course managing an effective campaign is always best handled by professionals so kids don’t try this at home, ha ha.
In summary what is known is that business is now catching up with consumers in social networks and media. Because of the ease of use, consumer control and democratic functioning of social networks and media, small to medium business are achieving good success in utilising these resources and this is clearly seen in the industry statistics.